MANILA, Philippines - Plans are afoot to integrate the Southeast Asian Club Invitational as part of the Shakey's V-League calendar possibly starting next year.
Officials behind the success of the country’s pioneering women’s volleyball tournament admitted that the proposal is currently being considered in the light of the warm reception being given to the inaugural staging of the four-day club championship that features the national teams of Vietnam and Malaysia.
V-League Season 8 champions Philippine Army and Ateneo de Manila complete the four-team cast that formally kicks off tomorrow with a doubleheader at The Arena in San Juan.
"Right now, we're trying to restructure the Shakey's V-League and see how we can incorporate the SEA club championship in our year-long calendar," bared Moying Martelino, chairman of the organizing Sports Vision, during the PSA weekly Forum yesterday at Shakey's UN Ave.
Since the V-League first conference is being held every summer, Martelino said they are eying to make it an all-school competition, while the second conference will feature a mixture of invited club teams and schools which are willing to participate as in the case of Season 8's final offering where corporate squads such as Maynilad, Air Force and Army saw action.
"And then we'll cap off the year with an invitational tournament pitting our local teams opposite club champions from Southeast Asia," added Sports Vision president Ricky Palou, who was also present during the session presented by Smart, Pagcor, Outlast Battery, and Shakey's, together with tournament commissioner Tony Boy Liao and Army coach Rico De Guzman.
"It's good for our teams to be exposed to this kind of tournament," Liao stressed.
Martelino expressed his gratitude to Shakey's for making the club invitational possible, which he said cost one of the country's largest pizza restaurant chain around P3 million for its staging.
"So let's see what happens next year," the Sports Vision president added.
Both foreign teams are already here in the country, arriving one after the other late Tuesday afternoon.
Vietnam, silver medal winner in the 2009 SEA Games in Laos, will be reinforced by two Russian players in Anactaxia Trernai and Ekoterina Martynova.
"Kailangan talagang pag-handaan ito, lalo na 'yung Vietnam kasi sobrang lakas nila," said De Guzman, whose Army squad will banked on former national team members Cristina Salak, Michelle and Marietta Carolino, Mary Jean Balse, and guest players Rachel Ann Daquis, Jennelyn Reyes, and Nerissa Bautista.
Handled by coach Roger Gorayeb, Ateneo is leaning on stalwarts Alyssa Valdez, Fille Cainglet, Jamenea Ferrer, and Angeline Marie Gervacio.
Opening day games will have Army taking on Malaysia at 2 p.m., followed by the tussle between Vietnam and Ateneo (4 p.m.).
The following day, it's Ateneo against Malaysia (2 p.m.) and Army opposite Vietnam (4 p.m.), before Ateneo clashes with Army (2 p.m.) and Vietnam battles Malaysia (4 p.m.) on the final day of the preliminaries.
A single battle for third place, and the winner-take-all Finals are set on Sunday.